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EU dodges bullet with Macron, but real challenge lies ahead

President-elect must heal France while revitalizing Europe

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President-elect Emmanuel Macron, left, with outgoing President Francois Hollande at a ceremony Monday to commemorate the end of World War II in Europe.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Sunday's presidential runoff saw French voters reject Marine Le Pen of the anti-European Union, far-right National Front and instead hand pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron a mandate for change. This hopeful sign, though, is just an early step in a long global struggle to mend deep economic and social rifts.

Macron entered the courtyard of the Louvre museum in Paris late on election night to the strains of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," the EU anthem. He looked tense during his victory speech as he spoke of the immense challenges ahead.

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